Buyers Guide – The Dream
It’s time to be done with renting (or move out of mom and dad’s basement – let’s be real) and you’re thinking about buying your first place. You might be really excited, you might be really nervous, or like many first-time home buyers it’s a combination of extremes and could vary from day to day.
This is when you start making lists, start envisioning, and start researching – There is a lot that will need to happen between now and when you will get the keys to your new place.
So, where do you start? Here’s a list of the four things you need to do to start your journey.
1) Go Explore
Go check out areas of town that you think you may want to live in and see how you feel in them. See what shopping and restaurants are close by. Check what your commute time would be like. Look at how walkable the neighborhoods are, if that is important to you.
2) Get Online
It’s important to get a feel for what appeals to you and if your desires are within your reach.
**Important Note** This is NOT the time to actually go look at places in real life, so don’t go calling Realtors just yet (but don’t worry – we’ll get there soon enough!!)
3) Build a Budget
One of the most important pieces of this process that some buyers unfortunately miss is the NEED to understand what the actual costs will look like and what they can comfortably afford.
Banks will often approve mortgages for more money than would be reasonable in terms of month-to-month costs, so it is really important for you to understand your current costs and get a sense of how much you have to put toward housing in a month (while still maintaining your lifestyle and meeting your other financial goals).
4) Decide When
This is particularly important if you’re renting as you may want to time a move with the end of your lease agreement. Typically, when offers are written, it’s 1-2 months from that date until possession, so if you’re looking at making a move in 6 months, that will change the process timing significantly compared to someone looking to make a move in the next 60 days.
You’ll also want to consider the amount of time you need to organize and save for your down payment.